Addicted to Gaming

Addicted to Gaming

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Another interesting read.

My personal opinion is that someone is addicted to something (in this example, gaming) when they can't walk away from that activity and stay away from it without having some sort of withdrawal.

As for the addictive personality thing - I guess it depends on each person and their reasons for playing video games. As the name of this website states gaming is a form of escapism and therefore playing video games is 'escaping' from ourselves, escaping from real life etc etc.

One of the most powerful things that video games can provide is allow us to experiance things that we simply can't in real life.

And its also the simple fact that deep down alot of people take more fun and enjoyment from gaming than they do from real life. Real life activities are usually expensive and have physical limitiations (ie, fitness etc) and unless you REALLY love you're job 'living' in WoW for a good few hours a day is a far more practical alternative.

Personally I enjoy interactive media far more than non-interactive media (ie, gaming over TV) - its just my personal preference. Given the chance I probably could play games for 8 hours a day and think nothing of it.

If you said to someone you play games 8 hours a day they would think your an addict - but if you said the same about TV or reading books would they say that your a TV or book addict?

I actually had a room-mate in college who was addicted to Lineage 2. He got in so bad that there wasn't any posibility of him graduating that year but he started to lie to his parents just so he could stay there and play. He got very creative at it, like any addict. He use to wake up in the morning, go down the stairs while calling to his mother and pretend he was just coming out of a class or an exam. Finally his family dragged him home were he quit "cold turkey" because he had no internet connection. He told me it was pretty bad actually, he got limited acces to a computer where he played some harmless and quite non-interesting games.

So unbelievably generic.

The negative consequences to "obsessive gaming" fits any addiction. Feels like he's just listing the incredibly obvious things we already know :|

I play video games frequently (even more so now that I'm on holiday break from school) but even while in school I sometimes found it difficult to motivate myself to get started on homework.

EDIT: On second thought, I did just get a call that my ride to work was coming and I put down the game immediately.

I don't think I'm in danger.

EDIT 2: Probably should have mentioned that at the time of writing the first part of this post I was playing DS.

I think the point he makes about gaming addiction not being tied to number of hours spent gaming is a very useful concept. Filling one's spare time (however much one has) with gaming is like filling it with any other pursuit. Whether or not it's a worthwhile pursuit compared to other things one could be doing is another question entirely, which tends to be brought up a lot in the discussions of addiction.

Someone who watches a lot of TV, reads a lot of books or plays a lot of golf can't be considered addicted simply based on the amount of time that's consumed by it. It's what other obligations are allowed to slip away, relationships allowed to wither and, perhaps most importantly, the denial of any and all problems related to it, even to the bitter end.

People crave escape into their hobbies and diversions, it's part of why we've got them, and so to disappear down the rabbit hole of gaming now and then isn't the problem, anymore than sitting at home with a beer in front of the TV makes you an alcoholic TV addict. It's when you feel that control slipping away and you're helpless in the face of needing to spend every minute gaming that you've got a problem.

Mark J Kline:
Ask Dr. Mark 14: Addicted to Gaming

Your lights are on, but are you home?

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In the case of the person writing in, I think his brother is also suffering the negative side effects of this friend's mother's college studies. Think of it as the psychological off-shoot of "medical students' disease" (the phenomenon that leads a lot of medical students to believe they--or many around them--are showing symptoms of whatever disease it is they're currently studying).

This woman is studying it, learning about the signs, and that means her brain is poised and primed to apply that knowledge. Application is the mind's way of solidifying acquisition, after all. So, looking for the signs of addiction in others, she happens to start in on a conversation with this impressionable young gamer. Older, more learned, an authority figure in the life of his friend (and, by extension, himself), I'm sure she was very persuasive. And so the seeds of doubt are planted.

When it comes to physiological symptoms, these can usually be objectively measured and eventually disproven. But when it comes to something more hidden and subjective, such as a psychological symptom, it's not as easy to find and squash those nagging doubts and fears.

I'm sure we've all hand friends that, upon receiving much-needed help for one disorder or another, are so excited about beginning this treatment that they promptly begin doling out diagnoses to anyone within arms' reach. "You know, this is really helping me! You might have this, too, so you should..."

It happens in the education and parenting worlds, too. One kid is diagnosed with ADHD or Asperger's or another hot-topic disorder, and suddenly everyone is recommending this or that child to be tested for the same. Some even go so far as to persuade the child they've clearly "got it," which often pushes the child toward exhibiting symptoms in the classic self-fulfilling prophecy.

Bottom line here is that addiction is a topic generating a lot of buzz lately, especially psychological addictions. So-and-so is a sex addict, or a porn addict, or a gambling addict... there's a lot of it floating around in celebrity culture. To a lot of people, the idea that something besides a drug can be an addiction is a novel concept, so there's a certain amount of paranoia running around about it all. We're more likely to jump to the conclusion that some habit is, in fact, a big, dirty addiction.

I think the funny thing is that, in many cases, the force behind this alleged "video game addiction" is the same force behind all these rash amateur diagnoses. The video game in question is new and interesting, and we often fixate upon something novel until we've basically saturated ourselves with it. After that point, we level off. Teach a young child to play Monopoly, and they'll want to play Monopoly every ten minutes--are they addicted to Monopoly?

No more than people are "addicted" to handing out an armchair diagnosis to impressionable young'ns. The knowledge is a new toy, and they're playing with it to the exclusion of other toys for now. If we don't constantly reward amateur psychiatry, it'll die down when the novelty wears off.

(And hey, I'm not saying addiction to video games isn't real. I'm not saying this kid is/isn't addicted. This is just about the other end of the exchange that led him to question himself, and how it could be a symptom of a different, but related problem.)

I think the main point I felt when reading this was the following:

Yes, gaming can be addictive.
No, it is not as widespread as people think.
Thirdly, playing a lot of games (aka being a gamer) does NOT equal being a game addict, unless signs of addiction occur.

At least that is how I see it.

Its a bit weird though how it seems games can cause addiction, yet TV/movies/books/music seem not to.
That is a pointer to me that there are differences between the accepted "arts" and gaming... or are all of these things misconceptions?

I like to think that a blu ray is actually some kind of blue beam of light. And that they dropped the "E" in some effort to make a wise ass lenguaje joke to make it read as it is pronounced. As for cheese, i don't think it needs to do anything to bee cooler and in fact think that cheese is the bee's knee's already.

I'm not a psycologist, but I'm fairly sure that the definition of an "addiction" is "activity that negatively impacts your life", not "activity that takes up most of your time" (although the two can overlap). Thus, the article is correct in a clinical sense.

However, you must consider the value of the label. Debating whether someone fits in the category of "addict" isn't really the big question. The important thing is whether it's damaging his life, clinical addiction or not.

I think that we get too tied up on these names and forget that they're just a catch-name for a set of signs of a problem.

I dont think his brother or himself are addicted as they both wondered whether they were.

Someone like me who denies addiction are more likely cases of real addiction.
i do it because I'm stuck in life and it passes the time.

Catalyst6:
I'm not a psycologist, but I'm fairly sure that the definition of an "addiction" is "activity that negatively impacts your life", not "activity that takes up most of your time" (although the two can overlap). Thus, the article is correct in a clinical sense.

However, you must consider the value of the label. Debating whether someone fits in the category of "addict" isn't really the big question. The important thing is whether it's damaging his life, clinical addiction or not.

I think that we get too tied up on these names and forget that they're just a catch-name for a set of signs of a problem.

Just a student, so grain of salt, but yes. Personal distress or negative impact on people around one is one requirement for addiction, and most psychological disorders. Common examples would be losing a job, dropping out of school, destroying friendships or romantic relationships, stealing in order to subsidize habit.

I'm stealing from substance and gambling addiction, because gaming addiction is not currently in the DSM-IV.

I have said this pretty much every time this issue has come up, mainly because I've been in counseling in the past myself for this same issue: as it has been explained to me by a psychologist, the key distinguishing factor for an addiction is control. Are you in control of your actions or not? If you are not in control, then you very likely have an addiction problem. Based on my own personal experiences, gaming addiction is similar to alcoholism in that not everyone is affected--some people become addicted while others do not, despite engaging to the same level of activity.

I've seen many on these forums try to rationalize that it's all just sensationalism and that it doesn't exist. In my opinion, these people are just deluding themselves because they don't want to believe there could possibly be any negative side to their chosen activity("there can't be anything wrong with it because I like it too much"). The fact is there is a dark side that some people, not all, fall into, and, very much like alcoholism, it depends on the person and numerous other factors going on in their life. There is no rational denying that, for some people, gaming addiction is a reality. There are people whose lives have truly been ruined by their habit, and it's complete insular, apathetic, egocentric dishonesty to deny the very real pain these people have suffered.

However, this is where people need to keep perspective. Just because there are some people who become addicted to gaming or a particular game does not mean or say that gaming as a whole is bad and prone to inducing addictive behavior. It only means that there are certain people that simply cannot engage in the activity because of the difficulty it causes in their life, again, like how some people get addicted to alcohol while others don't. This is much different from particular substances(such as ecstasy, cocaine, heroine, LSD, etc.) that are intrinsically addictive--these substances are usually addictive independent of the person. Even so, we in the gaming community need to be more empathetic to those that do suffer such issues and be willing to acknowledge that, for some, very real problems can and do occur.

Seems to me like what you're saying is it's only a problem if you already have some stake in non-gaming scenarios.

It'll only be a relationship problem if you have relationships outside of gaming.
It's a job problem if you have a job, compared to other addictions gaming isn't too dear.
School problems are only a problem for the time you're in school.

with chronic loneliness and despair the result for the non-gaming partner, and for the gamer, when the relationship understandably comes to an end.

Well no, not for the gamer, everything you said suggests the gamer won't be bothered. If they don't notice it when it's there, they're not going to notice it gone.

Ossian:
I dont think his brother or himself are addicted as they both wondered whether they were.

Someone like me who denies addiction are more likely cases of real addiction.
i do it because I'm stuck in life and it passes the time.

So if either brother agrees with you the instantly become addicted? You so crazy.

RMcD94:
Seems to me like what you're saying is it's only a problem if you already have some stake in non-gaming scenarios.

It'll only be a relationship problem if you have relationships outside of gaming.
It's a job problem if you have a job, compared to other addictions gaming isn't too dear.
School problems are only a problem for the time you're in school.

with chronic loneliness and despair the result for the non-gaming partner, and for the gamer, when the relationship understandably comes to an end.

Well no, not for the gamer, everything you said suggests the gamer won't be bothered. If they don't notice it when it's there, they're not going to notice it gone.

The list goes further to also mention problems of health and nutrition from poor eating, sleeping, and exercise habits as a result of gaming addiction; not to mention the increased stress levels that can occur while playing some games could put significant strain on the body if it is in a reduce state of health. Basically, you stop taking care of yourself or caring about your appearance. These health issues, if allowed to persist, have a very real danger of causing death. The gaming addict can have significant difficulty making changes to mitigate this danger because their habit interferes with their reason, motivation, and efforts.

There is the further problem that the gaming addict has great difficulty prioritizing anything above their gaming habit, no matter the real urgency or importance. It's not just a matter of having certain pre-existing activities that creates a problem. It's the fact the habit interferes with all activity outside itself and creates an intrinsically unhealthy lifestyle.

geizr:

RMcD94:
snip

The list goes further to also mention problems of health and nutrition from poor eating, sleeping, and exercise habits as a result of gaming addiction; not to mention the increased stress levels that can occur while playing some games could put significant strain on the body if it is in a reduce state of health. Basically, you stop taking care of yourself or caring about your appearance. These health issues, if allowed to persist, have a very real danger of causing death. The gaming addict can have significant difficulty making changes to mitigate this danger because their habit interferes with their reason, motivation, and efforts.

There is the further problem that the gaming addict has great difficulty prioritizing anything above their gaming habit, no matter the real urgency or importance. It's not just a matter of having certain pre-existing activities that creates a problem. It's the fact the habit interferes with all activity outside itself and creates an intrinsically unhealthy lifestyle.

There are plenty of people who do not give into aesthetics who don't have an addiction.

What would they prioritize over gaming if all they do is game? Does it matter if it's unhealthy? It's not going to interrupt their gaming. And after they die they won't really notice that they're missing out on games, so it's not particularly consequential when they do.

" For others, it can be a way to tolerate physical and psychological pain. Or perhaps gaming is a new mode of learning, interaction, and problem solving that is becoming a norm for today's generation--as poorly understood as it continues to be by elders."

Fun fact: I learned to drive entirely through video games, to the point that when I got my permit and drove for the first time, there was nothing I needed to be taught, aside from a few of the more obscure rules of the road and getting the hang of my car. Without lessons, I passed my driver's test, as the instructor said, flawlessly.

RMcD94:

geizr:

RMcD94:
snip

The list goes further to also mention problems of health and nutrition from poor eating, sleeping, and exercise habits as a result of gaming addiction; not to mention the increased stress levels that can occur while playing some games could put significant strain on the body if it is in a reduce state of health. Basically, you stop taking care of yourself or caring about your appearance. These health issues, if allowed to persist, have a very real danger of causing death. The gaming addict can have significant difficulty making changes to mitigate this danger because their habit interferes with their reason, motivation, and efforts.

There is the further problem that the gaming addict has great difficulty prioritizing anything above their gaming habit, no matter the real urgency or importance. It's not just a matter of having certain pre-existing activities that creates a problem. It's the fact the habit interferes with all activity outside itself and creates an intrinsically unhealthy lifestyle.

There are plenty of people who do not give into aesthetics who don't have an addiction.

What would they prioritize over gaming if all they do is game? Does it matter if it's unhealthy? It's not going to interrupt their gaming. And after they die they won't really notice that they're missing out on games, so it's not particularly consequential when they do.

You took one small part of my statement and ignored the total context. The point I was making is that in the case of the game addict the person is not making these decisions rationally, and I would think it an extreme case to find someone who rationally chooses poor health and risk of an early death as a lifestyle and be completely content with that choice(not saying there aren't such people, but I would expect them to be very few and many sigmas out from the norm).

As for things the person may need to prioritize over gaming but fail to do so because of the addiction, I can think of a couple simple examples: how about that job interview for that critically needed job to maintain the household and pay expenses, as a simple example? Or how about paying bills on time, failure of which can cause a number of significant problems? You could argue that if the person doesn't care about those things, only gaming, then there can't be a problem. The problem, in these examples, is that the person runs the risk of homelessness, in which case, his ability to game is completely impeded. You could then say the person wouldn't do that because they would realize that, but that's just what the problem is, they wouldn't think that far. They are too engrossed in their habit to perceive such a significant chain of consequences, or they would just ignore the consequences until it became a severe and significant threat. Simply put, the person is not acting on the basis on his own sound reasoning; instead, he is uncontrollably compelled to perpetually engage his gaming habit. This is where there is a problem.

Video game addiction is very real. I was once addicted to an online game (A Mud) called 3 kingdoms. I played that game on average 17 1/2 hours a day for a year straight (it kept track). That was the worst but I had been playing a ton for years before that. It's common to hear about people playing WoW like that now (or other online games) but gaming addiction predated the graphical online games.

For me console games have always been addicting but manageable because they last only so long (although I've played some like PSO thousands of hours). The addiction of a game on a console is fairly short term and you can always take a break before starting the next one. The industry itself helps protect people from spending too much time on them by restricting how many games are released and how many hours of gameplay are available.

MMO's though can go on forever and an addict can waste their whole life in a virtual world. It becomes so addicting because the more time you spend on the game, the more efficient your time is spent and quite often you start racing for top positions, equipment etc with other players as well.

Drugs in a way are not as bad as video games as many people who are addicted to drugs are able to function fairly well. In fact, many people are able to work full time while addicted to drugs for quite a long time (I had an uncle who was addicted to cocaine for years (like 10) and was on it constantly...but still worked at a bunch of different jobs etc.

Online game addiction can take over a persons life while allowing them to drastically reduce how much they spend. No money is spent on entertainment at all because you are entertained by your online game. Not much is spent on food because you just want easy things you can eat while playing. Basically your whole life centers around the game and if you have any money saved up at all, you can afford to play it for a very long time without having to spend any time at all working etc. I blew about half of my savings playing online games before I woke up and realized I had wasted a bunch of my life on something that didn't matter at all. I was 27 and hadn't spent time with much time with my friends in 2+ years and hadn't seen or heard from them in over a year (they would try and get me to leave the game for the last 6 months before I stopped seeing them but I never wanted to go out and stop playing...they finally gave up). I stopped cold turkey, deleting a character that I had spent thousands of hours on and didn't play another online game for quite awhile. I ended up meeting someone and getting married within a year and have been very careful since then to only play online games that I could play a small amount of time without being pulled back in. I still play console video games all the time though, and so does my wife. So I may still be addicted as I feel depressed and miss games if I don't play them for awhile.

Video game addiction is dangerous mainly because most people don't consider it to be a danger. If someone offers you heroin you have a good idea of the possible negative consequences of taking it. If someone says "Hey, wanna play this cool game called World of Warcraft?".....well you probably don't equate it to crack.

geizr:

RMcD94:

geizr:
snip

snip

You took one small part of my statement and ignored the total context. The point I was making is that in the case of the game addict the person is not making these decisions rationally, and I would think it an extreme case to find someone who rationally chooses poor health and risk of an early death as a lifestyle and be completely content with that choice(not saying there aren't such people, but I would expect them to be very few and many sigmas out from the norm).

As for things the person may need to prioritize over gaming but fail to do so because of the addiction, I can think of a couple simple examples: how about that job interview for that critically needed job to maintain the household and pay expenses, as a simple example? Or how about paying bills on time, failure of which can cause a number of significant problems? You could argue that if the person doesn't care about those things, only gaming, then there can't be a problem. The problem, in these examples, is that the person runs the risk of homelessness, in which case, his ability to game is completely impeded. You could then say the person wouldn't do that because they would realize that, but that's just what the problem is, they wouldn't think that far. They are too engrossed in their habit to perceive such a significant chain of consequences, or they would just ignore the consequences until it became a severe and significant threat. Simply put, the person is not acting on the basis on his own sound reasoning; instead, he is uncontrollably compelled to perpetually engage his gaming habit. This is where there is a problem.

I took it out of context because that was the only point I disagreed with.

I see, so the problem occurs because gaming to succeed as an addiction relies on things to continue to game. For example, an extremely rich person could be a game addict and not end up on the streets as he has enough money to placate doing nothing his entire life, whereas your average earner needs to, well, earn or suffer a lack of gaming due to lack of funds for it.

This is an interesting topic, and one I've discussed with friends (some who do and some who don't game), as well as teachers.

I love games. I would consider them my number one hobby. But this doesn't mean I play them at every waking moment. In reality, I play games much less than a few of my friends, even though I'd consider myself much more associated with the culture. I've had teachers express legitimate surprise when I told them I probably only play games, on average, two hours a week.

My problem with games comes in a different form. As I said above, on average I probably only play two hours a week. The thing is, I'll become obsessed with a game, absolutely obsessed, for a period of a week or two. I will forego social interaction to play the game more. However, after a few days, it won't take such a prominent place in my mind, and after about a week, I won't even really care about it at all. This happens every 4 to 6 weeks about. Does this count as addiction? Certainly, I will display addictive symptoms during this period: I will sleep very little, I will pass on social occasions, and the game will dominate my thoughts. Then, I'll get tired of it, and I'll move on. I'll burn myself out. Yeah, I'll keep playing, but the obsessive phase is over and I won't skip sleep or meals to play any more. I'll even go days, even weeks without even touching a game, aside from something like Cut the Rope on my phone on the bus or something. Perhaps the biggest evidence of this is that I started my WoW account 18 months ago, certainly long enough to get to level 80, but my main is only level 63. I will play intensely for a week or two, then pass on playing for months, during which I cancel the auto-renewing.

You know, given that definition of addiction I pretty much have to say that I was seriously addicted to reading books when I was in middle school.

I mean it. I was not a healthy 6th grader. I was losing huge amounts of sleep, losing the few friends I had, and even failing classes because I spent so much time reading books. It's a really easy addiction to justify, and people really have a hard time dealing with it.

Anyway, my point here was not so much to bitch about my childhood as it was to point out that while I suppose it's fair to say that there are people addicted to video games, I don't think it's the video games that are the problem. I had lots of other crap going very badly for me in middle school, and I think I was just latching on to whatever I could. I suspect that people addicted to video games are mostly the same.

I play games for the majority of my spare time, and I have sometimes felt that I may be addicted. But the more I think about it, it becomes clear it's not so much an addiction to gaming as an aversion to the outside world. I see the outside world as hostile, and to be honest I'm not sure how many people would agree with me. So I stay at home most of the time. I'd like to go out, just last night I was invited to a metal-themed night at a local pub, but just the thought of being around so many people, so many judging eyes, so few of which I can trust, made me incredibly anxious.

Thing is, I don't just retreat into gaming. I watch films, I go on the internet, I read books. My best way to describe it, is having a mentality that comes to "anywhere but out there". I do go out though, but only when I deem it necessary and safe enough. I go to college because it is necessary, and I go shopping because I can blend into the background and steer clear of larger crowds, it feels safer than an enviroment like a pub in which many people stay in one place and will be judging everyone else for social worth.

If you could call me addicted-which I don't think I am-I'd say definately it's the hostility of the outside world that ties me to gaming. The question is, how do I rid myself of the permanent defects in myself-how I look, my unusual personality, my little knowledge of how to socalise that it is now far too late too learn-that cause the outside world's hostility towards me? That, I have no idea about.

Doclector:
I play games for the majority of my spare time, and I have sometimes felt that I may be addicted. But the more I think about it, it becomes clear it's not so much an addiction to gaming as an aversion to the outside world. I see the outside world as hostile, and to be honest I'm not sure how many people would agree with me. So I stay at home most of the time. I'd like to go out, just last night I was invited to a metal-themed night at a local pub, but just the thought of being around so many people, so many judging eyes, so few of which I can trust, made me incredibly anxious.

Thing is, I don't just retreat into gaming. I watch films, I go on the internet, I read books. My best way to describe it, is having a mentality that comes to "anywhere but out there". I do go out though, but only when I deem it necessary and safe enough. I go to college because it is necessary, and I go shopping because I can blend into the background and steer clear of larger crowds, it feels safer than an enviroment like a pub in which many people stay in one place and will be judging everyone else for social worth.

If you could call me addicted-which I don't think I am-I'd say definately it's the hostility of the outside world that ties me to gaming. The question is, how do I rid myself of the permanent defects in myself-how I look, my unusual personality, my little knowledge of how to socalise that it is now far too late too learn-that cause the outside world's hostility towards me? That, I have no idea about.

The feelings you're expressing suggest a different but still serious issue. You may want to talk to your doctor about the anxiety you feel in social settings. You may need to talk to a psychologist and sort out why it is that you feel judged by your peers when you are "out there". I'd not consider those attributes of yours "permanent" or "defects". It does seem like something you should take care of though, and certainly some medications may help alleviate the problem. Be leery of benzo's however, in my extremely amateurish opinion those things are terrible and ruin lives. However a lot of anti-depressants can help with those kind of feelings for some people (talk to your doctor - you may or not be one of them).

Best of luck to you, hope you feel better about yourself soon.

Being a gamer myself, I can understand long hours playing games you enjoy. Gaming becomes a problem, in my opinion, when it begins to interfere and degrade your real-world commitments. I've experienced gaming addiction from the other foot, and it almost destroyed my relationship. She got in to an MMO and it took over everything. Wasn't looking for a job, neglected the relationship, wasn't eating dinner at the table, basically woke up and went to the computer, played until bedtime. Often playing long beyond bedtime, only making it to bed shortly before I had to get up for work. Eventually it was the game or me and thankfully the massive fight (spanning several days) that occurred resulted in the discarding of the game. That wasn't easy either, there were always excuses to come back and play, including "friends" (all men) she made online urging her to come play or to move to their city.

tl;dr: Gaming addiction is very real, but it doesn't tie in to number of hours, it ties in to how it affects what is really important.

Oh yes, because football ((both kinds)) isnt an addiction? Spending countless hours watching it on tv, spending hundreds to THOUSANDS of dollars to go see a bumch of people eather kicking or running a ball around a field for an hour. Not includeing to cost of the over priced consessions which could possible be ANOTHER hundred dollers.

What about cars? Nobody could possibly be addicted to motorvehicals! Chroming out theyer pipes and hubcaps, spending thousands of dollars on paint jobs, decals, leathers seats and mini LCD TVs. Nope. Cars Deffinitly arnt an addiction.

Little porcline figerines? OH DEAR LORD! How could i even bring those up! Theres no way those $300 a piece "collectors" porcline figerines could ever be considered an addiction! I mean, its not like if you were to touch one, the collector of them wouldent leap across the table and rip both your nipples off in an enraged state!

Yes, videogames and drugs are the only addictions out there that we have to worry about.

llagrok:
So unbelievably generic.

The negative consequences to "obsessive gaming" fits any addiction. Feels like he's just listing the incredibly obvious things we already know :|

What else would you like to see discussed? If you have anything, why not write to Dr. Mark asking him to discuss those specific tenets? He seems quite open to any sorts of questions.

I honestly think that calling it 'addictive' is an intentionally manipulative choice of words. Addition requires withdrawal symptoms, and throwing a tantrum because you can't do the thing you like doesn't count. A more accurate, and almost equally negative word would be 'obsession', but of course no one dies over an obsession with heroin, so that just doesn't have the same emotional punch.

kouriichi:
Oh yes, because football ((both kinds)) isnt an addiction? Spending countless hours watching it on tv, spending hundreds to THOUSANDS of dollars to go see a bumch of people eather kicking or running a ball around a field for an hour. Not includeing to cost of the over priced consessions which could possible be ANOTHER hundred dollers.

What about cars? Nobody could possibly be addicted to motorvehicals! Chroming out theyer pipes and hubcaps, spending thousands of dollars on paint jobs, decals, leathers seats and mini LCD TVs. Nope. Cars Deffinitly arnt an addiction.

Little porcline figerines? OH DEAR LORD! How could i even bring those up! Theres no way those $300 a piece "collectors" porcline figerines could ever be considered an addiction! I mean, its not like if you were to touch one, the collector of them wouldent leap across the table and rip both your nipples off in an enraged state!

Yes, videogames and drugs are the only addictions out there that we have to worry about.

... Who are you responding to? I've read all the comments, and the article, and I see nothing that contradicts you. This seems a bit aggressive for such a random comment.

nitro27:

kouriichi:
Oh yes, because football ((both kinds)) isnt an addiction? Spending countless hours watching it on tv, spending hundreds to THOUSANDS of dollars to go see a bumch of people eather kicking or running a ball around a field for an hour. Not includeing to cost of the over priced consessions which could possible be ANOTHER hundred dollers.

What about cars? Nobody could possibly be addicted to motorvehicals! Chroming out theyer pipes and hubcaps, spending thousands of dollars on paint jobs, decals, leathers seats and mini LCD TVs. Nope. Cars Deffinitly arnt an addiction.

Little porcline figerines? OH DEAR LORD! How could i even bring those up! Theres no way those $300 a piece "collectors" porcline figerines could ever be considered an addiction! I mean, its not like if you were to touch one, the collector of them wouldent leap across the table and rip both your nipples off in an enraged state!

Yes, videogames and drugs are the only addictions out there that we have to worry about.

... Who are you responding to? I've read all the comments, and the article, and I see nothing that contradicts you. This seems a bit aggressive for such a random comment.

Oh, me? Im responding in general.

Forive me if im over reacting alittle bit, but all this crap about, "Media Addiction" has been giving me massive headaches. Yes, videogames arnt "good" for people. But they definitly arnt "bad" eather. My uncle, who is 50, started playing racing games because he likes cars. Not only has his typing speed gone up significantly, but he seems all around more responsive. He drops stuff less, reads faster, and even seems to be a bit more lively.

They talk about videogames like theyer the devils work, and how it turns children into killers. When i was growing up, all i played as mortal combat and similarly violant games. But i ended up being a pacifist. Videogames gave me something to do insted of run the michigan streets like the rest of the kids and get hooked on drugs or dragged into gangs.

There are REAL medical problems out there we could be spending research money on, insted of pointing out that children shouldent be playing 18+ games. Ofcourse they shouldent. Theyer labled 18+ for a reason!

People can get addicted to anything. Its not the medium that is the colprut most cases but the mind of the person doing them.

Video games are however a ready accessible medium for anyone and legal. So there will always be someone who will use it to the point of overdoing.

The other addictive mediums are usually readily available or legal. (Tobacco, Adrenaline giving sports, Alcohol, Drugs, Gambling, porn.)

There are other legal ones like soda, fast food, sex, over counter drugs, Internett, Internettchat, Facebook etc.
Some people can even become item horders, animal horders(pretty common on the animal planet) etc.

I for one see some mmo's as nothing more then a time-sink with rewards of achievements. Which are a total waste of time.

People can pretty much become addicted to anything. But banning it for a entire populus just because of some noobs and their noob parents is not acceptable.

Most cases it is the person themselves that have just lost touch with reality and whats important.

Did you know mentally ill people have a relatively high likelyhood of addiction?

Every year America spends $13.4 billion and the world spends $96.7 billion on its porn habit..... so about 6yrs that would be africas entire national debt. Now thats some real sad figures.

Don't they know they could get that for free? xD

Video games generate alot of work and also funds the further development of computers. how would the pc market been if not for videogames? I bet the army would be the only ones using it and bothering to develop.

I for one would be happy if they banned obvious "time-sink" material from video games, like achievements and over excessive farm times and days of cooldown just because some person wants to make a buck of the lost souls. Those are the real problems.

personally I don't think it really matters what you call it. I was watching day9's 100th daily ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJztfsXKcPQ ), and I remember him saying something along the lines of "I love starcraft, and I love that I love starcraft" If you love something, and can honestly look at yourself, and say "I'm glad I like this, sure there are a few drawbacks, but I've gained more than I've lost, its worth it" then you are golden. Although this might not function as well in extreme cases.

So folks, the idea here is that any behavior, not just video gaming, can be considered an addiction if the person can't engage in it in a controlled fashion, and ends up doing harm to themselves as a result. The two ingredients that make addiction are lack of control and harmful consequences. I don't think all video games have this effect on all people, but I do think some video games have this effect on some people, so I responded to the person's question (Is video gaming addiction real?) in the affirmative and I tried to outline what I've seen and experienced of how it looks.

It's never been my intent to imply that all video games are evil and all gamers addicted. In fact, I spend lots of time explaining to other professionals the complex role gaming plays in the lives of many folks these days--because so many are clueless about this. I like drinking beer but I don't deny there are alcoholics. If you love gaming, why would you need to deny some people run into problems with it?

Is it overdramatizing these problems by using the term addiction? I just applied the knowledge I gained from colleagues who work with other behavioral addictions--like sex addiction and gambling. You have compulsive, out-of-control behavior and significant harm as a result.

I truly support all of our rights to enjoy some of the wonderful and amazing games out there, and if you play a lot, episodically, or regularly, and you love it, and you feel it's under control and there isn't significant collateral damage--then game on!

If, on the other hand, it's not under control and the consequences are mounting, take a look at this--try to make some changes--and if you find you can't, seek help.

As noted by an earlier poster, I am eager to discuss whatever issues you guys submit, and this question has been raised repeatedly. If there are other things you're interested in having addressed, send me a comment or question.

I've mulled around this label a bit myself, but I don't think I quite fit the bill. I will admit that I'm probably borderline and it probably wouldn't take a great shove to push me over the edge. I grew up with a love of exploration and experience, both of which, oddly enough, gaming has in spades. It's not that I crave gaming directly, just the desire of adventure that it sates. IRL once you're on your own, traveling and exploring take lots of time and money. There are logistics involved, such as gas, food, hours of operation of places, and time away from work/family/friends, that may become a problem. Not everyone can step off their back porch into wilderness these days. For as much or likely less you can simulate some of these experiences and more by gaming. You can do things that you could NEVER do IRL. That's what makes them so fun and, yes, at times addicting.

It does sound like a match made in heaven but I do realize from time to time that there are some things I can't get from sitting in front of my monitor all day. Also games do eventually get old and you need to find something else to do. Anyways, gaming is my default hobby and my preferred hobby with friends. I fall back on it when I don't have something else to keep me occupied. If I'm kept busy I can forget about gaming entirely but if there is next to nothing to do, then oh how I wish I had a laptop.

This is a topic that I am very keenly interested in and have enjoyed the last two texts from Dr. Mark a lot.

I think it is essential that all of us be consious of the reality that video games, our beloved hobby, may in fact lead to addiction. I always double check myself, to make sure that it is still a hobby and that I am gaming because I WANT TO and not because I HAVE TO. Addiction is not always obvious to the person with the addiction.

Judging from myself, I agree that how many hours / day a person plays is not, by itself, sufficient to judge addiction. It is easy to deduce that if someone is addicted he/she will play many hours per day, but it doesn't work the other way around.

The self-check I do is to try and be without gaming for a little while. I check my reaction if there is a power outage on a Saturday morning, when usually I am hope playing, or check my emotions if I am faced with a few days without my PC due to system failure of a trip.

Although I still get very passionate about many games, thankfully, I still find it quite easy and stress-free to replace gaming with a different activity in my free time...

...so I guess I am OK...

...or at least I hope so...

 

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